Caterine Ibarguen in the womens Triple Jump at the IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow 2013 (Getty Images) © Copyright
Preview Beijing, China

Preview: women’s triple jump – IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015

The last time Caterine Ibarguen lost was more than three years ago, when she had to settle for the silver medal in the final of the Olympic Games on 5 August 2012.

Since then, the Colombian has rattled off 28 straight wins, and provided the greatest athletics moment in her country’s history when she took the 2013 world title in Moscow.

This season she has been in imperious form as well, with seven wins which have included victories in five IAAF Diamond League meetings and at last month’s Pan American Games, so the 31-year-old will naturally start as the favourite to defend her title.

However, despite her outstanding set of statistics, the odds on her winning a second global title are slightly longer than you might imagine owing to the presence of Russia’s Ekaterina Koneva.

The world indoor champion, when Ibarguen did not compete, pushed her South American rival in a thrilling competition at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene at the end of May, bounding out to a world-leading mark and personal best of 15.04m in the second round in the venue for the 2021 IAAF World Championships. Ibarguen only managed to overhaul her inspired opponent in the final round with a wind-assisted 15.16m.

Koneva has never beaten Ibarguen in 11 encounters but is a proven big-time competitor, having finished second behind her at the 2013 IAAF World Championships, so what better opportunity would there be for the Russian to gain revenge for what she admitted at the time was a painful defeat in front of her family and friends?

Behind the leading pair on the 2015 lists, there are three other women who have already jumped beyond 14.50m this year and could make an appearance on the podium.

Bulgaria’s Gabriela Petrova has made a big leap forward, metaphorically and literally, this year.

Having started 2015 with a best of 14.14m, set indoors, her first competition of the year saw her bound out to 14.55m at her national indoor championships and then she also took a silver medal, behind Koneva, at the European Indoor Championships in Prague.

She returned to the Czech capital during the outdoor season and improved to her current personal best of 14.64m and she also has a windy 14.85m to her name from the European Team Championships.

Ukraine’s 2011 world champion Olga Saladukha has yet to win a competition this year but reached 14.62m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Shanghai in May and, as testified by her Daegu gold and three successive European titles, she is another athlete who knows how to peak for the big occasion.

Israel’s Hanna Knyazyeva-Minenko was sixth at the last World Championships and has leapt a national record of 14.61m this summer and the former Ukrainian international is looking to be her adopted country’s first female IAAF World Championships medallist.

Phil Minshull for the IAAF